|Munţii Vlădeasa ||Vlegyásza-hegység |
The Vlădeasa Mountains
are the northernmost of the three high central massifs of the Western Transylvanian (Apuseni) Mountains
, which belong in the Southwestern Carpathians
. Their northern boundary is formed by the Crişul Repede/Sebes-Körös
river. The plateau of Padis is considered to be their southern limit, along the following line: the upper reaches of the Crişul Pietros river - Boga - Cuciulat Pass - Rachiţele Valley
. In the west, the valley of the Iad/Jád
river separates the Vlădeasa Mountains from the low mountains known as Pădurea Craiului/Király-erdő (Royal Forest)
. On the east, the Vlădeasa Mountains are bounded by the Huedin/Bánffyhunyad Basin
, i.e. the watersheds of the Săcueiu and Henţ rivers.
The main ridge of the Vlădeasa massif is about 50km long and resembles a horseshoe along whose axis the Drăgan/Dregán
river runs northerly, dividing this massif into two segments. The eastern ridge boasts the highest peak named Vf.Vlădeasa/Vlegyásza or Vigyázó
which tops out at 1836m. It is the third highest summit in the Apuseni Mountains. The western ridge is much lower, does not exceed 1500m in elevation and is not often visited by hikers. It rises over the valley of the Iad river and runs SSE, with the following summits: Stâna de Izvor (1339m) - Muncelaşu (1415m) - Piatra Calului/Ló-havas (1463m) - Vf.Muncei/Kis-havas (1411m) - Vf.Poienii/Mező-havas (1625m) - Vf.Bohodei/Istenek-havasa (1654m) - Vf.Fântăna Rece/Hideg-kút (1654m). Past Cornul Munţilor/Szegelet-havas the eastern ridge turns NE towards the summits of Vf.Cârligatele/Horgas-havas (1694m) - Coasta Brăiesei (1692m) - Vf.Briţei/Sík-havas (1759m) - Piatra Tâlharului/Tolvajoskő or Tolvajkő or Tolvajvár (1608m) - Vf.Miclău/Mikó-havas (1640m) - Nimăiasa/Néma-havas (1589m) - Vârfuraşu/Kis-havas (1688m) - Vf.Vlădeasa/Vigyázó (1836m).
The relief of the Vlădeasa Mountains is characterized by broad, gentle, slightly undulating ridges (e.g.Vf.Cârligatele) and vast plateaus, which sport occasional rocky outcrops (e.g. Cetatea Bohodeiului, Golgota), blockfields (e.g. Vf.Buteasa), nival niches, crags (e.g. Piatra Tâlharului) and impressive cliff bands (e.g. Pietrele Albe/Fehér-kövek).
This charming landscape is enriched by multiple caves (e.g. Vârfuraşu) and countless cascades, including the highest waterfall of the Vlădeasa Mountains named Săritoarea Bohodeiului
, which is 80m tall.
It is volcanic rocks - andesite, rhyolite and dacite - that predominate in the Vlădeasa massif. Jurassic limestone can be found in isolated places towards the fringe of the mountains, Pietrele Albe/Fehér-kövek (White Cliffs
) being a case in point.
The White Cliffs
The table below lists the highest as well as some other conspicuous summits.
|Summit ||Elevation in meters ||Photo ||A few words about |
|Vlădeasa ||1836 || ||The highest, twin-peaked summit, formed of rhyolite with a weather station on its top. In the eastern part of the main ridge. Accessible via a red dot trail. |
|Buteasa ||1792 || ||The second highest peak boasting interesting scenery (blockfields, nival niches on its east side, dwarf pine and junipers, no man-made structures, vast spruce woodland around, a botanical reserve). The summit makes for a superb vantage point affording fine views of the entire Vlădeasa range. It faces the highest massif in all of the Apuseni Mountains - the Bihor proper - across the Padis Plateau to the south. In the central part, about 5 km N of the main ridge. Red triangles. |
|Briţei ||1759 || ||In the central section. Blue stripes. |
|Cârligatele ||1694 || ||Elongated crest, steep S face and gentle N face, botanical preserve. In the central part about 1 km SW of Cumpănăţel pass. Red stripe traverse.|
|Vârfuraşu ||1688 || ||Namesake cave in its S side. In the eastern segment about 3 km SW of the highest peak. Blue stripe traverse. |
|Bohodei ||1654 || ||Cliffy W face, namesake cascade at its SW foot. In the western part. Red stripe traverse. |
|Poienii ||1627 || ||Pastures on its W side and junipers covering E side. In the western section. Red/blue stripe traverse. |
|Piatra Tâlharului ||1608 || ||Craggy witness of erosion. In the central part. Blue/yellow stripes. |
|Piatra Grăitoare ||1557 || ||Wooded top, the W face composed of two fascinating limestone cliffs named Pietrele Albe, nature reserve. In the eastern segment, about 3 km SE of the highest summit. Unmarked path. |
Cascada Vălul Miresei/Rekiceli-vízesés(Bride's Veil)
The nearest airport is at Cluj-Napoca.
Road and train access to the Vlădeasa Mountains is possible from the NW/NE – details are tabulated below.
|Access routes||Trailhead at||Marks||Destinations|
|Oradea-Beiuş-BudureasaOradea-Bucea-Bulz-Valea Iadului||Stâna de Vale||yellow dotblue dotred stripe||Piatra Calului - Belvedere RaiaSăritoarea IeduţuluiIzvorul Minunilor, Poienni summit (western part)|
|Oradea-Valea Draganului||Canton Ciripa||yellow stripe||Cascada Moara Dracului - Buteasa massif - Piatra Tâlharului(central part)|
|Cluj-Napoca - Huedin - Rogojel/Rachitele||Vlădeasa hut||red dot||Vlădeasa massif - Pietrele Albe/Cascada Vălul Miresei(eastern part)|
Red Tape & Camping
Situated at 1430 m, the Vlădeasa hut is the only one offering accommodation in the mountain zone. But you may pitch your tent almost everywhere, although the main ridge of the Vlădeasa Mountains forms the boundary of the Apuseni Nature Park, in which there are some nature reserves, such as Pietrele Albe, Buteasa, Cârligatele.
Maps & Books
Signposts at Stâna de Vale